The work of Yuliya Magdych is an expedition: her designs integrate styles, textures and colors speaking about Ukraine, but also reflect her reinterpretation on the patterns found in private collections, travels and museums. Fashion has always been an ambassador of culture and a medium to raise attention and Yuliya Magdych’s work makes no exception. Maye Musk wore a vyshyvanka in a public message she delivered to express her support for Ukraine and her outfit spoke as much as the message itself.
In her Vogue article few years back, Yuliya, who learned the art of embroidery from her mother, in Lviv, explained: “The 2014 revolution stoked Ukrainian nationalist sentiment as well as a renewed interest in the vyshyvanka, the national dress, which connects Ukrainians to embroidery from birth. Sometimes made of handwoven cloth, vyshyvankas are hand-embroidered in motifs—geometric, vegetable, and animal—with symbolic meanings. The embroideries communicate identity, tell stories, and are believed to offer protection (…) which is expressive of the “long tradition of Ukrainians resisting evil by beauty.”
Vyshyvanka is traditionally part of the national costume, standing out through elaborate embroideries. Originally, the threads were colored using local sources from leaves, berries and flowers. The nature of the embroidery used to serve as indicator for regional belonging, symbolizing protection, good will or happiness wishes. Yuliya’s work sets a new stepping stone in the history of this once-folk item, integrating it in the international pop-culture and resistance vocabulary.
Be it a contemporary item or an original folk one, vyshyvanka wore by international public figures was a symbol of support and presence for the Ukrainian cause.
For the ones willing to discover more of Yuliya’s work, explore her instagram.
On LOVEANDLOBBY we launch #UkraineTalent, a series to promote local creatives, both active within the country or abroad. The goal is not only to rise attention to their profiles, talents and abilities and help them connect with the world at large, but also for the world to discover the national heritage and contemporary culture of a country that is nowadays devastating by the war.